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For Release: May 13, 2008
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

National Quiz Gets Teens to Think about Preventing Pregnancy

Hundreds of thousands of teens nationwide are expected to participate in the seventh annual National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month this May by taking an online quiz.  The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) invites Oklahoma teens to use this quiz as a chance to focus on the importance of avoiding too-early pregnancy and other serious consequences of sex like sexually transmitted diseases.

Teens can visit the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy's new teen Web site: www.stayteen.org, and take the short, scenario-based “quiz” that asks young people what they would do in a number of sexual situations.

The message of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month is straightforward: Sex has consequences. The online quiz, available in English and Spanish, delivers this message directly to teens and challenges them to think carefully about what they might do “in the moment.” The quiz is appropriate for teens ages 13 and older.

“Parents can encourage their teens to take the quiz during May and use it as a conversation starter with their children about sex, love, values, and relationships. Also, tell other parents and adults about the quiz,” said Linsey Garlington, OSDH Teen Pregnancy Prevention health educator. 

Despite hitting the lowest level in 30 years, one in three teen girls become pregnant at least once before age 20.  Many teens say they are concerned about pregnancy, but still think, “It can't happen to me.” But it does happen to 750,000 girls every year.

In 2005, the latest national data available, Oklahoma ranked 7th highest in the nation for birth rate of girls ages 15 to 17 and 8th highest for girls ages 15 to 19. Local data shows:

• 52.5 percent of male high school students in Oklahoma have had sexual intercourse

• 49.3 percent of female high school students in Oklahoma have had sexual intercourse

• 78.7 percent of births to females 19 and younger in Oklahoma were to unmarried mothers

Last year, more than 350,000 individuals took the online National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month Quiz.  A survey of the some of the teens that participated indicates:

•  83 percent said the quiz made them think about what they might do in such situations

•  62 percent said they’d talk to their friends about the situations described in the quiz

•  63 percent said they’d learned something new about the consequences of sex

•  73 percent said the quiz made the risks of sex and teen pregnancy seem more real

For ideas on how you can help promote National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, please visit http://www.TheNationalCampaign.org/national. For information about teen pregnancy prevention programs in Oklahoma, contact: Linsey Garlington, (405) 271-4471 or view the OSDH Web site at: www.health.ok.gov.

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